Perigee Books, originally created as the trade paperback imprint for G. P. Putnam’s Sons, has featured an eclectic range of titles from virtually every category of publishing, both fiction and nonfiction. One of the earliest, William Golding‘s Lord of the Flies, is now the only work of fiction on the list.

Perigee’s publishing program has evolved to fulfill its mandate to be useful, useless, creative, and curious. Publishing in both hardcover and paperback formats (as well as original eBooks), Perigee features a range of prescriptive non-fiction, self-help and how-to books, guides to creativity, and popular reference. The list also features a line of illustrated gift and craft books.

Among the perennial favorites and bestsellers are the international phenomenon Wreck This Journal (and other works by Keri Smith), The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz, 8 Minute Meditation by Victor Davich,  The Book of Useless Information (and its companion volumes), Dr. Robert Melillo’s Disconnected KidsGoldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes , Dan Solin’s The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read, and Nick Bantock’s The Trickster’s Hat.  

In the early 2000’s, Perigee integrated Prentice Hall Press into the group. Today, the emphasis of this list is business communications and self-improvement. PHP continues to publish the popular How to Say It series along with other well-established titles including Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Mark Douglas’s Trading in the Zone, Richard Montauk’s How to Get into Top MBA Schools, Don McLeod’s How to Find Out Anything, and Michael Maslansky’s The Language of Trust.

Since the early ‘90s, HPBooks has been a part of the Perigee group. Currently it offers a range of backlist titles in the automotive category.

Meet Perigee

John Duff

John Duff

Vice President and Publisher

I started my career in the book business in the basement of a W.H. Smith book store in Toronto, Canada. Following stints with a number of Canadian publishers, I came to New York as Director of Special Interest Publishing at Doubleday. In 1992 I joined G.P. Putnam’s Sons as Publisher of Perigee Books, now a boutique imprint of Penguin Random House.

As the self-described hurdle over which the editors at Perigee need to jump, I follow the simple principle: The publishing program should embody the imprint’s mandate to be creative, curious, useful, and, sometimes, useless.

I also acquire and edit a range of prescriptive non-fiction titles. Amongst the highlights over the past two decades is Joanna Lund’s Healthy Exchanges series, which sold more than a million copies and gained her the unofficial title of “Queen of QVC.”  I acquired the national bestsellers The Book of Useless Information and its many follow ups, Daniel Solin’s The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read, and Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes. I am the long-time editor of public television’s Christina Pirello, whose books include Cooking the Whole Foods Way and the original Deluxe eBook Christina Pirello’s Wellness 1000.

Recent publications and acquisitions include Brian Martin’s New York Times bestseller, Invincible: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up with Domestic Violence, and the Truths to Set You Free, Ron Friedman’s The Best Place to Work, Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes: A Journa,l and Swoosie Kurtz’s memoir, Part Swan, Part Goose.

Marian Lizzi

Marian Lizzi


I’m always looking for books that are first of their kind, best of their kind, or one of a kind. My list includes many of Perigee’s “bread and butter” titles—backlist bestsellers that I think of as “self-help for smart people”­—in the areas of Special Needs, Parenting, Health, and Self-Improvement. Featured titles include The Out-of-Sync Child (revised edition); Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids; and the New York Times bestseller Take the Stairs. I also acquire and edit some of our quirkier titles—books that defy categorization and capture the author’s passion for a subject with infectious glee, such as The Cloudspotter’s Guide, Tiny Confessions, Extreme Pumpkins, Imbibe, and Reading the OED. I’m also proud to be bringing some important voices from the UK to American readers, including Ruby Wax on staying sane, Roman Krznaric on empathy, and illustrator Lee Crutchley on the art of getting started.

After twenty (OK, twenty-five) years in publishing, what gets me up in the morning remains the same: discovering and championing new voices, fresh ideas, and thoughtful advice that move the conversation forward. What keeps me up late is scouring the internet to find new favorites to turn into books that will inspire, inform and amaze. (In between, there is lots of coffee.)

See also: Aspiring inventor, former amateur stand-up comic (is there any other kind?), Pinterest addict, serial liker/sharer/favoriter, Brooklyn native, Brown grad, cheerful nerd.

Jeanette Shaw

Jeanette Shaw


I joined Perigee in 2005 as assistant to the Publisher and was named Editor for Perigee and Prentice Hall Press in 2012. I acquire across a wide range of nonfiction categories from pop culture and humor to beauty, food writing, personal finance, and popular reference, as well as business and career development. I edited the New York Times bestselling Book of Useless Information, beauty books Asian Faces and Style Eyes by celebrity makeup artist Taylor Chang-Babaian, Cooking Up a Business by Rachel Hofstetter, and the popular history title Scandalous Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon.

I look for projects that fit Perigee’s mission to publish “prescriptive nonfiction” that will inform, inspire, or entertain readers. My recent and upcoming titles include Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me, a hilarious and insightful exploration of celebrity image and style by popular style bloggers Tom & Lorenzo, How to Use a Meat Cleaver, an Italian family cookbook by the creator and star of the hit VH-1 reality show “Mob Wives,” Bloom, an inspiring makeup guide for teens by “What Not to Wear” makeup expert Carmindy, and Homemade Beauty, a handbook of 150 recipes for easy and inexpensive DIY beauty treatments for hair, skin, and face.

Lauren Becker

Editorial Assistant

I joined Perigee in 2012 as Editorial Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief after interning at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. I received my B.A. in English from Boston University in 2009 and my Master’s Degree in Literature from American University in 2011. I’ve enjoyed working on both prescriptive and quirky titles alike, assisting closely with books in a wide range of categories from business self-help to humor to inspiration such as Brand Aid, Tiny Confessions, and Things We Forget.

In addition to managing Perigee’s Facebook page, I am also building my own list of titles. I’m interested in inspirational self-help, pop-culture, pop-science, parenting, the occasional quirky food book, and anything with cats and dogs!

Amanda Shih

Editorial Assistant

I was introduced to publishing as an intern at Perigee (and followed with a series of internships at Grove Atlantic, Folio Literary Management, Gallery/Pocket Books, Scholastic, and Dutton Books). With such an eclectic range of experiences – and good timing – it’s not surprising that I landed back at Perigee as an editorial assistant in May 2013.

I grew up in Seattle and moved to the East Coast to attend New York University, where I received a BA in English & American Literature and minored in Media, Culture, and Communication. While at NYU I spent two years at the copy desk of the university’s student paper.

As assistant to the publisher I have had the opportunity to work with some exciting and challenging projects including Swoosie Kurtz’s memoir, Part Swan, Part Goose, Lauren Slayton’s The Little Book of Thin, and Verne Varona’s Nature’s Cancer-Fighting Foods. While supporting other day-to-day functions of the department and working with other editors, I’ve been introduced to the entire spectrum of the publishing process – from acquisition to marketing to selling.

I am looking forward to eventually building my own list, which I anticipate will feature a mix of quirky, creative, and informative titles with personable and pithy voices. I am particularly interested in books with an offbeat POV, pop culture, inspirational self-help, humor, and creativity.

Perigee Newsroom

June 2, 2015

On the Saturday at BookCon, Perigee hosted hundreds of Wreckers and Colorers over the course of two events. The first, was based on the multi-million-selling interactive Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith and featured giant panels from the book that attendees could wreck in creative ways, using glue, pipe cleaners, crayons, string and stickers. The second […]

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May 9, 2014

Yesterday the Writing Center and Roosevelt House at Hunter College celebrated the launch of Perigee’s What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty, with a panel discussing Jackie’s many achievements. As featured in The New York Post’s “Page Six”, the speakers, in addition to Flaherty,  included these What Jackie Taught Uscontributors: columnist […]

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May 2, 2014

Swoosie Kurtz took New York by storm this week to promote her new memoir Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family, which launched this week with appearances on NBC’s Today show, MSNBC’s Morning Joe , WNYC’s  “The Leonard Lopate Show” ,  a Sirius XM radio tour and a television satellite tour.  In addition, the book was […]

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